Hartlepool campaigners set to show their support for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

A rally in support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will take place in Hartlepool this week.

Monday, 1st August 2016, 1:44 pm
Updated Monday, 1st August 2016, 2:49 pm
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn receives a warm reception after speaking at a Labour leadership campaign rally in Queen's Gardens, Hull. Picture taken on Saturday 30 July 2016.

The open event organised by local members of the Momentum group aims to show the level of support of grass root Labour Party members for the embattled leader.

It is one of a series of similar rallies that have been taking place across the North of England as Mr Corbyn faces a leadership challenge from Owen Smith.

The event in Hartlepool, featuring guest speakers, will be held at the Belle Vue Social Club, Kendal Road, at 7pm tomorrow.

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It is being organised by Hartlepool Labour councillor Stephen Thomas and will be chaired by fellow councillor Alan Clark.

Speakers will include Hartlepool Borough Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher, Terry McPartlan, a Labour Party member for 36 years and chair of Gateshead Trades Council; and Barbara Campbell, a Momentum Teesside organiser and NHS campaigner.

Coun Thomas said: “We have arranged this rally as a result of the strength of feeling there has been regarding the leadership challenge and to demonstrate our solidarity locally with Jeremy Corbyn.

“It is an open meeting and anyone is welcome to attend.”

Momentum Teesside organiser Barbara Campbell added: “This leadership election is a fight for the soul of the Labour Party.

“The membership overwhelmingly supported Jeremy and the anti-austerity policies he stands for last year, since when he has faced regular sabotage attempts by some members of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

“I believe that party members will back him again and I trust that all Labour MPs will then respect the wishes of the membership and work to support Jeremy in making the case for a Labour government pursuing socialist policies.”

Similar rallies have been held recently in Middlesbrough and Newcastle attended by up to 1,000 people.

Coun Thomas attended an event in Leeds at the weekend which attracted more than 3,000 supporters.

“The hall was absolutely full,” he said. “Jeremy also held an impromptu event outside for those that were unable to get in.

“We are obviously not expecting anything like that amount but are expecting in the region of 50 to 100 people.”

Mr Corbyn recently lost a vote of no confidence of his own MPs, who have become disillusioned with his leadership abilities, by 172 to 40.

Challenger Owen Smith says he can unite the party and put Labour back in power.

The leadership result will be announced on September 24.